Spiro T. Agnew
Vice - President under Richard Nixon
Served from 1969 - 1973
Agnew is buried in Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens, Timonium, Md,
Date of Visit: February 28, 2006

Spiro Agnew: The One That Almost Got Away

Peggy and I decided to visit the grave of Spiro Agnew on our way home from Ocean City, MD on February 28, 2006. After all, the cemetery is less then 2 miles off the expressway. We’d be right there; so I thought.

I’ve been doing this awhile, and when people ask for my advice, I tell them plan, plan, and plan. After all, Agnew’s grave is one of the hardest of all the Presidents or Vice – Presidents to find. So that is what I did. I got driving directions from Yahoo Maps. I found
Benton Nelson’s cemetery and plot map on Bart Barker’s site. So, I was all set to go, it was 4:30 p.m. and it would be easy on and easy off.

Following Yahoo Maps directions, I got off at the exit it told me to. I made all my turns and was looking for Midridge Rd. When we passed over Eastridge Rd. I knew I was getting close, I figured it was the next block. Well, it wasn’t the next one, or the one after that, or even the one after that. By that time we were well past where we should have been and my navigational sense was tingling that I missed something. It was time to go back. But, instead of turning around, I knew if we just took the next left, we would run into the road we were looking for. We didn’t. We should have, but we made it back out to the main road. We were heading west, and knew we had to head north. After all, that’s what it said on my little atlas map. So we took a right. After about 4 miles, I again figured we missed it. We saw a guy walking his dog and asked him if he knew where Padonia Road was. He did and said, “Your way too far north, turn around and go back about 5 lights.” We did and went down 5 lights past the road we took our right on and lo and behold the next one was Padonia.

Now I was getting excited! Finally after an hour of driving around suburban Baltimore we were on the right road and going in the right direction and I finally saw the cemetery, then a gate and a car in the driveway and I noticed it was a closed gate, so we went farther to find the main gate. After about a quarter of a mile, we realized that was the main gate and turned around. We pulled into the gate and read the sign that said the cemetery closed at 5:00 p.m.

To say I was a little peeved is an understatement. I cursed Yahoo, I cursed the cemetery and I even cursed the traffic. At that point I contemplated jumping the fence. After all, I’ve done it before, but this was a busy highway with a very pointy fence and a very big cemetery. The office was across the street and there was a light on, so we went over there to see if there was somebody I could plead my case to. There wasn’t, the place was empty. So, I decided to take pictures of the gate, put them on the site until I got there when the place was open.

As we were leaving the parking lot and driving back to the interstate, I noticed that the fence had changed to a regular wooden fence behind some houses. I had Peggy slow down, “we are going to drive around the cemetery and see where it leads us." It led us to an apartment building at the southern corner of the cemetery. Right at the entrance to the apartment complex, there was a wooden gate, and on that wooden gate there was a padlock and the padlock wasn’t locking the gate! I decided right then and there that I had come too far and lived to far away to let this one slip, and Agnew’s grave was only one section over from the gate.

I opened the gate and stepped into the cemetery. Peggy stayed with the car. I ran through the Circle of the Immortals and the Field of Honor until I came upon the Garden of the Last Supper. I knew Spiro was buried in this section near the road, so I followed the road, but all the headstones looked alike. I got to the end of the section and knew I missed it. I had to retrace my steps, and fast. I was constantly looking over my shoulder for a police cruiser. That’s ok, if I got caught, I’d tell him my story and maybe he would have let me go, but if I got a trespassing ticket, that would have been ok too, because I would have scanned and posted the ticket on the site and it would make the story even better.

I ran back, retracing my steps and pow there it was: the grave of Spiro Agnew! I quickly took my pictures; after all it was getting dark (see
James Buchanan story) and ran back to the car!

It was done, one law broken and one more vice – president finished!

By the way, the apartment complex was on Padonia Road at the end of EASTRIDGE and we took Padonia Road all the way to the expressway where there was an exit.

If only we had gone north one more exit…

ALWAYS BRING TWO CAMERAS
See how dark its getting. The upper left is a shot of the rolling hills of the cemetery. This was taken before I went into the cemetery. The upper right is the office across the street from the main gate.

I had to Photoshop the picture on the left so you could read the sign. It was getting dark, and my disposable camera (not a name brand, it was a cheap dollar store model) wasn't working well and the batteries on my digital were dead.

The grave of Spiro Agnew. I had to Photoshop it so that you could read it. When I took my roll of film to be processed, the woman who first worked on the film skipped it and didn't print it. When I checked out the prints in the parking lot and didn't see it, I went running back in to see if they could do anything. This very nice young woman (not the same one that processed it to begin with) took a look at the negative and was able to print out the picture. She looked at the print and said "Agnew? Where is this?" I figured this young lady, who I guess was born during the Reagan years, never heard of Spiro Agnew, but I was wrong, she is a college history major. She asked what I was doing, and I told her and she thought it was really cool idea. In fact, she told me that her and her sister wanted to do something similar, but with the birthplaces of the presidents.

Original on the left, two different photoshop versions in the center and on the right.

Me attempting to take a picture of myself at the grave. The original on the left, photoshop version on the right. I'm surprised I got both me and the grave in the shot.

 

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